Because I like to be a unique blogger (and mostly because I never read books the month they’re released) I prefer posting my “most anticipated list” in the weeks following the month of discussion. This way I get a first hand scoop on what my most trusted reviewers thought of it, and I can see if my interest still rings true a few weeks after initially hearing about it. Such is the case with these five books I’ll soon be discussing. I excluded books such as My True Love Gave to Me and The Unexpected Everything since I’ve already mentioned them in a previous post, YA Summer Beach Reads- 2016. I know you guys are on the edge of your seat waiting to hear the run down of my opinion on the hottest books of last month, so drum roll please…
Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
Starting off this list I’ve got Thelma & Louise with sister. Minus a road trip. Plus some black mail. But still, female friendship and murder! In the ultimate show of sibling protection Joy kills Adam Jordan, a boy doing inexcusable things to her twin sister Grace. Quickly though the facade of truth Joy thought she unraveled gets even more knotted. In fact the truth couldn’t be more hidden in the tiny town she thought she knew. From there things spin rapidly out of control, with Joy being pitted against a heinous blackmailer in a real live game of cat and mouse. All those things make me jump for joy, especially when the narrative is described as “dark”, and leaving the reader “questioning their own sense of right and wrong” as the “complicated relationship between sisters” is explored. Here’s hoping that the twins story ends on a much higher note than the aforementioned outlaws. Later on in this post I’ll mention a similar mystery/thriller, but one thing I think will set this one apart is the introduction of secrets. That includes those of Joy, Grace, Adam Jordan, and the towns people Joy is so trying to protect. I’m a sucker for that type of deal and the plot of Please Don’t Tell thrives on investment in the characters dirty laundry. It’s also worth noting that Laura Tims is a debut author, and you guys know how I feel about supporting the new writer cause. Stow this one in your beach bag for a dark twist on traditional summer love.
Ruined by Amy Tintera
Well if Epic Reads says this one will cure my reading slump “Fo Sho” then it must be worth checking out for the dog days of summer. In other news Keira Cass says it’s “Packed with action, intrigue, and romance. I was holding on for dear life until the very last page.” While that is good news I can only hope it’s a little more action packed and a lotta less romantic than Cass’s own series. I’m not worried though, as Amy Tintera’s Reboot duology consistently finds a place on my list of most under hyped books out there. Hopefully the Ruined trilogy can not only keep the magic going, but also earn a rightful place on 2016’s fantasy bandwagon. And it’s definitely akin to the likes of Red Queen and Shadow and Bone, following Emelina Flores, princess of a dying kingdom whose just watched her entire family murdered or taken captive. What’s a girl to do? Naturally she has to avenge her parents death by killing a fellow princess, taking her spot as prince Casimir’s betrothed (btw it was his army who captured her sister, committed the murders, etc, etc), and plotting to kill him. Oh year, and there’s a magic system to learn. Admittedly that is very similar to the idea behind a lot of high profile releases recently, but I thought the same thing when I first read Reboot. Tintera just has a real knack for adding a humorous spins to situations, crafting worthwhile twists, and knowing exactly the kind of romantic leads I’m in business for. What’s been your take on it? Thus far I’m 50/5 0 with my favorite reviewers.
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Confession time here on Megnificent Books. I’ve never read a John Corey Whaley book. Yes I know they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, and most people would give an arm and a leg to find out his next project, but no. Never read one. That all changes though sometime circa summer 2016 when I check out Highly Illogical Behavior, in all its highly illogical glory. Though the name dotting the author line is a huge pull for me, what I find really compelling is the premise. It follows sixteen year old agoraphobic Soloman, wanna be psychologist Lisa, and her charming boyfriend Clark over the course of a summer; during which Lisa will attempt to “fix” Sol as her ticket to college. As the three grow closer and their fronts begin to melt away, the fragile friendship only just developed is at increasing risk of crushing all three under its weight. I get a definite Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl vibe from this one, but somehow this premise seems to elude to an even more tragic fallout than a book about a girl dying from terminal cancer. With that being said, I still believe HIB is going to be a witty one, what with Lisa “desperately trying to get into the second best psychology program in the country (she’s being realistic)”. Mess with my emotions why don’t you, Mr. Whaley. Any which way, if a lovely commenter would like to peak my interest even more with taunts of fantastic Whaley writing; I’d love to hear it.
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Going along with the precedent I set with Highly Illogical Behavior, The Outliers is not only about an agoraphobic teen…but also happens to be written by an author whom I’ve never read their ridiculously popular first book. Despite the mixed things I’ve read thus far about Kimberly McCreight’s newest novel, her reputation and the storyline have me intrigued. From what I understand MC Wylie receives a text from her recently estranged BFF Cassie asking for help. As she has apparently done often before, Wylie sets out into the great wide world to save Cassie from herself. This time is different though. For starters Cassie’s on again/off again boyfriend is tagging around (gee, I don’t think him and Wylie will ever develop feelings for each other…) and the two must sort out a series of cryptic clues to find her whereabouts. Then things go down. What things I’m not privy to, but I assume they must escalate quickly. Despite the gag worthy and oh-so-obvious romance taunt, I like that McCreight doesn’t give a whole lot away with this synopsis. There’s a lot of directions she can go in regards to what is actually hiding in the woods; from a government conspiracy, to supernatural beings, to jut about anything she so desires. And assuming she really fleshes the scenario out, it will be hard for her to lose the audience. From what I’ve heard Reconstructing Amelia was great at throwing in red herrings, so fingers crossed for a twisty road.
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
I LOVE The Silver Linings Playbook, was less than impressed by Love May Fail, and am gauging my reaction to Every Exquisite Thing as a test of Matthew Quick’s true writing prowess. The stakes are high. He’s off to a good start though, combining reclusive authors (TFIOS all the way), troubled male poets (every YA novel ever), and wild abandon (of the On the Road variety) into one book. And while I’m sure their is a huge audience for that type of story, the real question is whether Quick can make it so this fickle reader can enjoy it. I have a few tips though of things that may help. For starters the moody love interest can not be a whiny, pretentious baby. Impossible, you say. For your average writer yes, the trope is practically synonymous with mopey, but I would say MC Pat of TSLP had huge potential to be the exact same way. Going along with that theme; the very premise of TSLP is arguably one of reckless, hedonistic, self discovery in the truest sense. Yet it never rubbed me the wrong way. Obviously Quick has more than proven himself to defy expectations, but can he do it here? YA certainly has a track record of sucking strong adult authors into a rabbit hole of pointless meandering. Nevertheless the plight of EET MC Nanette is one I find very compelling. It’s totally first world, but is undeniably relatable and one that may serve nicely with an author who doesn’t take himself too seriously. If anyone has checked this one out, how did you find it to shake out against Quick’s other books?
Are any of these on your TBR? What are you anticipating otherwise? Let me know in the comments!
-Keep Calm and Read On